Digital Skills: Developing Online Assessment Skills in Everyday Classroom Activities Western Reserve Public Media

Ratios—Simulating with Unit Rates

I can:

I can solve problems using rates


Tech Skills:
  • Simulation

Materials and Resources:

*Phet Simulations: Unit Rate

Quizlet Unit Rates:


*Requires registration but the use of the simulations on the Phet site are free

Grade Level:
  • 6th Grade

Subject Area:
  • Mathematics


Activity 1

Students should begin the Phet unit rate simulation. First students should work through the shopping questions. The fruit is the simplest and the candy is the most difficult to complete. Each of the three categories offers questions to help students visualize and answer a variety of rate questions including unit rate.


Activity 2

Once students complete the shopping simulation they should move to the racing lab. Allow students adequate time to investigate the simulation. They should work with both the single car and the double car simulation. Pose the following questions once students have an operational understanding of the simulation.
Racing Lab Investigation:

  1. For two tracks with the same length, determine two different rates such that the cars reach the finish line at the same time. How do these rates compare to one another?
  2. For two tracks with different lengths, find two rates such that the cars reach the finish line at the same time. How would you change the rates so that the car on the shorter track finished in half the time?


Students should share in whole or small group what they discovered as possible solutions for the two questions. Anything interesting should be shared in a whole group discussion.

Students can review their ability to calculate unit rates by utilizing the Quizlet: Unit Rates. Students can print or email a pdf of the test results to the instructor for assessment or self assess.

Understand the concept of a unit rate a/b associated with a ratio a:b with b ≠ 0, and use rate language in the context of a ratio relationship.

Supplementary Resources:

Phet Unit Rates Teacher Guide

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